Ahh, the wonders of healthy soil. From water-holding capacity, pest and disease regulation, to nutrient cycling and physical stability, a robust and resilient soil gives farmers a huge advantage in crop production. But what makes a healthy soil? How can we measure its fitness and whether it’s in top farming shape? That’s a question soil… Read More

Soil is alive and full of billions (yes billions) of fungi, bacteria, protozoa and more, performing key soil functions such as nutrient cycling, creating pores, and adding stability to soil structure. But how much do we understand of our soils? And can we take steps to love these good bugs and get rid of the… Read More

More organic matter, fewer weed seeds and insect pests, and a nitrogen credit: that’s what farmers get when they put forage in the rotation, says independent agronomist Pat Lynch. From better soil health to higher yields, the benefits of forage — especially alfalfa — is a story that Lynch promotes passionately. On this episode of… Read More

The way we farm is continuously changing, through knowledge-transfer, new technology, and innovation. How farmers take care of farms and the land required to raise livestock and produce grain is changing too — for the better. Soil health may have become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, but that’s not to diminish its… Read More

Cover cropping — and then planting into that green cover crop in spring — has become more common in pockets of the U.S. and Canada over the past decade, but the adoption rate has tended to be slower in more northern areas with short or dry fall seasons. These also happen to be areas where… Read More

Boron is one of the essential micronutrients needed to grow a high-yielding crop of canola. When looked at in the plant and how it is used, boron doesn’t move about all that quickly. As Erika Dowling, technical sales manager with Mosaic Company, explains in this Soil School episode, due to the slow mobility of boron… Read More

Soil health has certainly gained more attention and become a higher priority when it comes to farming practices, but it remains a very personal idea, depending on who you talk to and where you are. While the results and practices may look similar, the definition of success when it comes to soil health can differ… Read More

What’s going on below ground? That’s a question farmers often ask when it comes to tillage and the impact different tillage strategies and implements have on soil and crop roots. In this 2021 Ontario Diagnostic Days video report, we catch up with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) soil management specialist Sebastien Belliard,… Read More

Trying to tackle the enormity that is recognizing leading women in agriculture left me so overwhelmed, I ended up being unable to even begin to write or interview. In order to overcome the inertia, I decided instead to focus on one aspect of the industry and tip the hat to some notable scientists who also… Read More

Building organic matter is a complicated and sometimes slow process, but you can’t build soil organic matter without carbon and biological activity. There’s some research out there to suggest that adding commercial nitrogen fertilizer to cropping systems burns through organic matter — but field level research doesn’t show the same results. What’s happening? First time… Read More

How do you measure soil heath? On this episode of RealAgriculture’s Soil School, OMAFRA soil scientist and land use specialist Dan Saurette joins Bernard Tobin to look at some of the assessment tools available to farmers and the type of insights they provide. One of the most well known soil health tests is Cornell’s Comprehensive… Read More

Whether or not you’re farming healthy soils depends on many things, says Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs soil specialist Anne Verhallen. When asked what makes a healthy soil, Verhallen says that growers need to think first about the qualities of their soil, including properties such as soil texture — are you farming… Read More

After a drought, lingering effects of herbicides can really pose a threat for the next cropping year. In this Canola School episode, Breanne Tidemann, research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, Alta., explains why there’s a risk for herbicide carryover from residual products for the upcoming crop year. Tidemann says that it’s important to… Read More

Only about one of every four farm fields is soil tested each year. If that sounds accurate for your situation, this may be the year to change that statistic. For this episode of The Agronomists, host Lyndsey Smith is joined by Jason Voogt of Field 2 Field Agronomy, and Jack Payne of South Country Co-op,… Read More

Drought this year has not only hindered yields on the Prairies, but it could also directly affect next year’s crop by not allowing for pesticide breakdown in soil. There are several different ways pesticides can break down in the soil: by volatilization after application; through photodegradation on the soil surface (sunlight); through hydrolysis in soil;… Read More


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